Woodworking workshops

North Bennet Street School woodworking workshops and short courses are well-known for providing the highest-quality training in the fundamentals of fine and machine woodworking for individuals interested in exploring furniture making, carpentry and preservation carpentry. 


In addition to the fundamental workshops, two-day and longer workshops provide opportunities for students to build additional skills and fabricate useful objects of lasting value. Popular table and chair making, bowl-turning and timber-framing workshops are offered regularly. Master classes provide opportunities for professionals and advanced students to learn new skills.

Calendar

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fine finishing

Saturday - Sunday, May 3 - 4, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: John LaGattuta
$395

This course is filled.

This two-day workshop covers the finishing of furniture in a manner that is consistent with the period of design, including proper coloring using various typed of stains, dyes and glazes. Different types of top coats are discussed and demonstrated, including shellac, varnish and nitrocellulose based lacquer. Color theory and layering of stains and dyes are used to bring out the depth and beauty of the piece. Students are encouraged to bring a piece to the workshop for finishing.

John Lagattuta is the owner of Northwest Corner Woodworks in Torrington Connecticut, specializes in the making of furniture represent- ing styles of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries using traditional methods and techniques and restoring antiques. His firm has been employed by several historical organizations, including the Litchfield and Torrington historical societies.

Register

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A historic walk with Steven O'Shaughnessy

Saturday, May 10, 2014
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Instructor: Steven O'Shaughnessy
$35

Visit Brattle Street a historic site in Cambridge with our Preservation Carpentry instructor Steven O’Shaughnessy. A few of the notable stops along the walk are the 1880 Stoughton House a shingle style built by H.H. Richardson, The 1759 Vassal-Craigie-Longfellow House, considered among the finest Georgian Mansions in the nation and the 1689 Hooper-Lee-Nichols House, home of the Cambridge Historical Society. Please note, this is three hours of walking, bring comfortable shoes, water and your camera.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sawhorse Workshop

Saturday, May 17, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Bill Rainford
$225

Build a pair of heavy duty work-site saw horses and a pair of neatly joined nesting horses (or 'Hurdles') for using in the workshop. Learn various mortise-and-tenon joinery, trestle structures, hollow chisel and plunge router mortising, table saw tenoning, and laying out of splayed legs. If time allows, we also discuss additional fixtures/accessories. You'll wonder how you ever worked without them.

Prerequisites: Either Fundamentals of fine woodworking or Fundamentals of machine woodworking.

Register

Monday, June 2, 2014

Decorative Inlay

Monday - Friday, June 2 - 6, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Paula Garbarino
$695

This workshop explores techniques of inlay including methods of stringing and drill-cut inlay used in the line and berry work; gouge-cut “bellflower” inlay and shaded fans; compass star inlay; and marquetry. Demonstrations and exercises include methods of stringing and drill-cut inlay as used in the line and berry work of 18th century Pennsylvania; gouge-cut “bellflower” inlay and shaded fans found in Federal Period furniture; compass star inlay of nautical origin; and marquetry, fret-sawn pictorial designs, of many periods. Advice on stone and metal inlay included as time permits. Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Fine Woodworking or Tool Sharpening class.

Paula Garbarino, is a 1988 grad of NBSS furniture and former instructor in that program. She is a professional furniture maker specializing in marquetry. Her work has appeared in a number of periodicals and she exhibits regularly in trade shows. www.pgarbarino.com,

Register

Fundamentals of fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, June 2-13
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Ryan Messier
$1275

This course covers the essential elements needed to build a foundation of skills for fine woodworking projects. Topics include sharpening, tuning and the use of basic hand tools including paring chisels, hand plane, dovetail saw, card scraper and marking gauge; characteristics of wood and wood movement in furniture making; and the strategies of laying out and cutting dovetails and mortise and tenon joinery using flat and square reference surfaces. Demonstrations and student exercises develop skills such as chopping and paring with a chisel, and hand planing. Learn to lay out and cut dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints.

Traditional cabinetmaking practices are explained throughout the workshop and instructors emphasize how these methods can be used systematically in any woodworking project.

Ryan Messier is a fine furniture and chairmaker located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Formal training at the North Bennet Street School provided a wide skill-set which, blended with his artistic talents, has enabled him to create beautiful and intricate custom pieces.

Tools for this workshop are about $375.

Register

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Introduction to bowl turning

Saturday - Sunday, June 7 - 8, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Rich Friberg
$365

This two-day workshop introduces students to faceplate and bowl turning, which is very different from spindle turning. In bowl turning, the grain of the wood is typically perpendicular to the bed of the lathe; in spindle turning, the grain is parallel to the bed of the lathe. Various methods of attaching the wood to the lathe and sharpening the appropriate tools for bowl turning are covered. Hands-on projects include small bowls and plates. Each student has a dedicated lathe. This class is open to all skill levels. The school has tools students may use during this class.

Rich Friberg is an instructor and 2004 graduate of the NBSS Preservation Carpentry program. His company, Pleasant Avenue Restorations in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts specializes in historic restorations and residential remodeling, as well as timber framing and architectural woodturnings. Visit Rich's website at www.pleasantavenuerestorations.com

Register

Window Sash Workshop

Saturday - Sunday, June 7 - 8, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Bill Rainford
$365

Learn the basics of building a traditional window sash. The sash you make can be used as a small window or a wall hanging. Skills learned include: milling muntin stock, layout from a story stick, mortise and tenon work, coping a profile, draw boring, making pins, cutting glass and the basics of glazing. If time allows, we discuss other styles and tips on fitting a sash to a frame. Prerequisites: Fundamentals of fine woodworking and Fundamentals of machine woodworking.

Register

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fundamentals of fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, June 9 - 13
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
This workshop has been rescheduled to June 2 - 13, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014

Flat Screen TV Stand

Monday-Friday, June 16-June 20, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Brian Vogt
$695

Using basic machine and hand tools, construct a paint grade flat screen TV cabinet approximately 60'' long by 21'' high and 16'' deep. Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Fine Woodworking or Fundamentals of Machine Woodworking

The workshop materials are about $150.00.

Brian is a 1994 graduate of the North Bennet Street School Preservation Carpentry program. Brian worked for some of Boston’s finest cabinetry and architectural millwork shops before opening his shop, Vogt and Company, in 1998.

Register

Fundamentals of machine woodworking

Monday - Friday, June 16 - 20
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Matt Wajda
$695

Woodworking machines don’t perform optimally until the user becomes familiar with their construction and proper adjustment. Students in this workshop develop the skills and confidence to perform basic operations and the background needed for more complicated operations in this weeklong workshop. Machines are discussed in reference to specific woodworking tasks and set-up accordingly with the necessary fences, guides or fixtures. Proper techniques for operating each machine safely and for recognizing potentially dangerous situations are emphasized.

The course includes an overview of what to look for when purchasing new or used machines and reviews sources for machines, tooling and re-sharpening.

Matt Wajda is a 2000 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program. His custom furniture making business, Piscataqua Design, LLC, is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He is active in commission and design work and has clients througout the east coast.

Register

Historic Timber Frame

Monday-Friday, June 16-20, 2014
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Instructor: Rich Friberg
$695

Designed to teach the fundamentals of historic timber work, this course offers students the opportunity to construct a timber-frame structure incorporating traditional mortise and tenon and other joints. This framing example gives students an understanding of the layout and construction of historic New England timber frames, including barns and dwellings. Construction is done using traditional tools including framing chisels, hand crosscut and rip saws, marking gauges and hand boring machines. Topics include: layout and cutting of sills, posts, floor framing, braces, tie-girts, rafters, purlins and studding, draw boring and pinning, square rule and scribe rule systems. This class is open to all skill levels. If you don’t already own carpentry tools, expect to spend approximately $105 on tools for this course.

Register

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Turning skills: Make a Peppermill

Saturday - Sunday, June 21-22, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Janet Collins
$425

Make a pepper grinder on the lathe. Basic concepts of woodturning, including lathe safety and tool selection are discussed. Students learn to accurately measure the wood needed for the grinder, how to hold and bore the holes through which the mechanism operates and how to turn the outside shape. Students leave with a handsome pepper grinder and the skills needed to make more. All tools are provided, but a tool list will be given should you prefer to bring your own. Spindle turning experience is helpful but not required.

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Wood Carving Intensives - All three

Saturday-Sunday, 6/21-22, 7/19-20, 8/16-17
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Instructor: Dan Faia
$995

Whether carving furniture elements or creating freeform sculpture, the fundamentals of the art of woodcarving are universal. Led by master furniture maker Dan Faia, students build the skills and knowledge that are necessary in becoming a woodcarver. Students may attend any or all of the workshops. Each workshop focuses on a set of tools and techniques. Take all three and build a tool collection and skills for a wide range of carving projects. $365 each weekend $995 for all three .

Register

Wood Carving One

Saturday-Sunday, June 21-22, 2014
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Instructor: Dan Faia
$365

Led by master furniture maker Dan Faia, students build the skills and knowledge that are necessary in becoming a woodcarver. Using a V-parting tool, a veiner and a straight gouge, learn incised carving and practice designs of increasing complexity on wooden panels. .

Register

Monday, June 23, 2014

Intermediate fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, June 23 - 27
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Ryan Messier

$695.00

In this continuation of the fundamentals of fine woodworking workshop, we review skills and concepts learned in Fundamentals of fine woodworking. We then discuss and practice more complex joinery techniques commonly found in furniture construction. These include: wedged tenons, bridle joints, twin tenons, dovetail partitions and spring joints. In order to cover many techniques, students build samples, not completed projects. Students leave this workshop with new skills and a greater understanding of how to tackle the more complex woodworking projects.

Register

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fundamentals of Chip-carving

Friday - Sunday, June 27-29, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor:Jeff Fleisher
$540

Chip carving is a decorative form of carving used to enhance a piece of furniture or small objects like jewelry boxes. Chip carving incises a pattern or design directly into the surface of the wood. The three-day workshop covers a brief history of chip carving, the chip carving knife and how to sharpen it, layout and design, and finishing techniques. Hands-on carving topics include: basic triangle shapes, the foundation of chip carving; triangles in combinations to create beautiful border designs; adjacent triangles, which produce the 'sharp edge' between adjacent chips that are so prevalent in chip carving; rosettes, the beautiful circular designs that often mark the centerpiece of a chip carving design; and flowing free-form designs where creativity is unlimited.

If you don’t already own woodworking tools, expect to spend approximately $90 in addition to tuition.

Register

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Intermediate Bowl Turning: lidded vessels

Saturday - Sunday, June 28-29, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Rich Friberg
$365

This class is being rescheduled. Please check back after April 1, 2014 for new dates.

Explore more complicated bowl-turning projects including lidded vessels, boxes and more in this intermediate level class. Prerequisite: Introduction to bowl turning workshop

Rich Friberg is an instructor and 2004 graduate of the NBSS Preservation Carpentry program. His company, Pleasant Avenue Restorations in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts specializes in historic restorations and residential remodeling, as well as timber framing and architectural woodturnings. Visit Rich's website at www.pleasantavenuerestorations.com

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fundamentals of fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, July 7 - 18, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Ryan Messier
$1275

This course covers the essential elements needed to build a foundation of skills for fine woodworking projects. Topics include sharpening, tuning and the use of basic hand tools including paring chisels, hand plane, dovetail saw, card scraper and marking gauge; characteristics of wood and wood movement in furniture making; and the strategies of laying out and cutting dovetails and mortise and tenon joinery using flat and square reference surfaces. Demonstrations and student exercises develop skills such as chopping and paring with a chisel, and hand planing. Learn to lay out and cut dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints.

Traditional cabinetmaking practices are explained throughout the workshop and instructors emphasize how these methods can be used systematically in any woodworking project.

Ryan Messier is a fine furniture and chairmaker located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Formal training at the North Bennet Street School provided a wide skill-set which, blended with his artistic talents, has enabled him to create beautiful and intricate custom pieces.

Tools required for this workshop are about $375.

Register

Youth Introduction to Wood working skills

Monday - Friday, July 7 - 11, 2014
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Instructor: Chris Kearney
$575

In this five-day course, students (6th, 7th, 8th grade) will learn the basics of drafting, woodworking and finishing through the completion of several projects. Each project introduces students to new skills and tools and builds upon the lessons of earlier projects. The students will learn how to use various hand saws, planes, rasps, files and chisels to create attractive and useful items that will be enjoyed for years; from a simple pencil box or cutting board to a more intricate wall shelf or carved spoon.

Prior to attending the Cabinet and Furniture Making program, Chris Kearney taught middle school math and history for 10 years. After graduation Chris worked in cabinet and millwork shops on North Shore before starting CB Kearney Fine Woodworking and becoming a MA/NH certified Industrial Technology instructor. He has taught woodworking, drafting and metal shop for various school districts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You can see some of his custom furniture at www.cbkearney.com

Register

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fundamentals of machine woodworking

Tuesdays/Thursdays, July 8 - August 7
6:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Instructor: Ellen Kaspern
$695

Woodworking machines don’t perform optimally until the user becomes familiar with their construction and proper adjustment. Students in this workshop develop the skills and confidence to perform basic operations and the background needed for more complicated operations. Machines are discussed in reference to specific woodworking tasks and set-up accordingly with the necessary fences, guides or fixtures. Proper techniques for operating each machine safely and for recognizing potentially dangerous situations are emphasized.

The course includes an overview of what to look for when purchasing new or used machines and reviews sources for machines, tooling and re-sharpening.

Ellen Kaspern has been a custom furniture maker since graduating from the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program in 2003. She is a member of Fort Point Cabinetmakers in Boston.

Register

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wood Carving Two

Saturday-Sunday, July 19-20,2014
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Instructor: Dan Faia
$365

Led by master furniture maker Dan Faia, students build the skills and knowledge that are necessary in becoming a woodcarver. Add two straight gouges and a skew to your tool collection and learn more incised carving and an introduction to relief and molding carving. Practice your skills on an 8”x10” picture frame. .

Register

Monday, July 28, 2014

Intermediate fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, July 28 - August 1, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Ryan Messier

$695

In this continuation of the fundamentals of fine woodworking workshop, we review skills and concepts learned in Fundamentals of fine woodworking. We then discuss and practice more complex joinery techniques commonly found in furniture construction. These include: wedged tenons, bridle joints, twin tenons, dovetail partitions and spring joints. In order to cover many techniques, students build samples, not completed projects. Students leave this workshop with new skills and a greater understanding of how to tackle the more complex woodworking projects.

Register

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Introduction to bowl turning

Saturday - Sunday, August 2-3, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Rich Friberg
$365

This two-day workshop introduces students to faceplate and bowl turning, which is very different from spindle turning. In bowl turning, the grain of the wood is typically perpendicular to the bed of the lathe; in spindle turning, the grain is parallel to the bed of the lathe. Various methods of attaching the wood to the lathe and sharpening the appropriate tools for bowl turning are covered. Hands-on projects include small bowls and plates. Each student has a dedicated lathe. This class is open to all skill levels. The school has tools students may use during this class.

Rich Friberg is an instructor and 2004 graduate of the NBSS Preservation Carpentry program. His company, Pleasant Avenue Restorations in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts specializes in historic restorations and residential remodeling, as well as timber framing and architectural woodturnings. Visit Rich's website at www.pleasantavenuerestorations.com

Register

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fundamentals of fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, August 4 - 8
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
This workshop has been rescheduled to July 7 - 18, 2014. See that entry to register.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wood Carving Three

Saturday-Sunday, August 16-17, 2014
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Instructor: Dan Faia
$365

Led by master furniture maker Dan Faia, students build the skills and knowledge that are necessary in becoming a woodcarver. Carve panels for a desk-top organizer using more advanced relief carving. Three new gouges complete your carving tool set and new techniques advance your skills in this third workshop in a series of carving intensives. .

Register

Monday, August 18, 2014

Intermediate fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, August 18-22, 2014
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

This workshop has been rescheduled to July 28 - August 1, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Three-month furniture making intensive

Monday-Friday, September 12 - December 19
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Jamey Pope
$6000
$1800 deposit to hold space for registrant
The discount for new students does not apply for this workshop

This furniture making intensive should be considered by those who wish to learn as much as possible about furniture making in three months. Participation in this course can also be used by students who wish to enhance their skills to be better prepared to attend one of North Bennet Street School’s full-time programs. This course is designed to guide the student from basic hand and machine skills to advanced techniques in furniture making with each student building a final project from rough lumber. The first part of the course covers the hand and machine skills taught in Fundamentals of Fine Woodworking and Fundamentals of Machine Woodworking courses.

Students complete several basic and advanced joinery samples and other projects prior to building a more complex final project that includes techniques that can be used in building a wide range of furniture and provides students with the knowledge and skills to build most tables and case pieces. Students are taken to a lumber yard and guided through the process of choosing and purchasing the appropriate stock for the project. Students practice various styles of legs including turned and tapered legs.

In addition, we cover: basic drafting, reading and following furniture plans, project organization, developing procedures and stock lists, working safely, efficiently and accurately, spindle and faceplate turning, veneering curved and flat surfaces, case and table construction, and finishing. The hand-cut and machine-cut joinery includes: half blind and through dovetails, mortise and tenon, multiple stub tenons, twin tenons, housed tapered dovetails, dovetailed drawer dividers, dovetailed vertical partitions, shaping and cutting molding and curved and flat drawer construction.

Please read cancellation policy on our continuing education page. This course has no prerequisite. Students are responsible for material costs of approximately $300.

Jamey is a 2006 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program. Before becoming a custom furnituremaker, Jamey was a general contractor.

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Questions and suggestions

Jim Morris
Director of Continuing Education
617-227-0155 x130
email Jim

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Other carpentry and furniture making classes

This is a partial list of class that have been offered in the past. If there is one or more that interest you, write to Megan Kenealy. We welcome class requests.

  • Garden tool and tote
  • Platform framing
  • Stairbuilding
  • Advanced techniques in furniture making
  • Boston case furniture and the challenges of compound curves
  • Brettstuhl workshop
  • Chip carving
  • Chippendale chair workshop
  • Continuous armchair
  • Continuous-arm windsor chairDecorative inlay
  • Dovetails
  • Drafting for furniture makers
  • Elements of chair construction
  • Finials for furniture
  • Flat edge tool sharpening
  • Fundamentals of fine woodworking
  • Fundamentals of machine woodworking
  • Georgian footstool
  • Hammer veneering and the vacuum press
  • Intermediate bowl turning
  • Introduction to bowl turning
  • Introduction to shapers
  • Introduction to spindle turning
  • Machine maintenance: bandsaw
  • Machine maintenance: tableSaw
  • Machine safety: routers
  • Machine woodworking - pembroke table
  • Machine woodworking: shaker table
  • Parent and child toolbox workshop
  • Parent/child course: wall shelf
  • Pie crust serving tray
  • Relief carving
  • Restoration of gilded surfaces
  • Sand shaded fan
  • Shaker oval boxmaking
  • Three month furniture making intensive
  • Tool box workshop for teens
  • Turning for furniture makers
  • Veneering fundamentals